ALONG THE RIDGE by Edward Streeter


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This is the mildly entertaining story of an automobile trip along the mountain ridge connecting northern Spain with southern Yugoslavia while passing through France, Switzerland, northern Italy and Austria. Mr. Streeter with three friends, Sally, Anne and Charles, arrive in Paris, buy a Citroen and motor down through Bordeaux into the Basque country, where their best laid driving plans go oft askew. Charles reveals himself as a world traveller with his inveterately irrelevant comments about trips to exotic places. The two girls are alternately gay or sulky, and all four are well into their sixties. The desultory stuff of the journey is a succession of meals, hotels, car problems, hills, caves, cathedrals and peasant types, hotel types, all with historical sidelights and a few pratfalls. Mr. Streeter's gift for travel description is pleasant. The most immediately interesting chapter takes place in politically queasy Yugoslavia, which, Charles says, is composed of six republics, five nations, four languages, three religions and two alphabets. The party splits up for awhile and Streeter finds himself to be a cowardly driver/passenger along Yugoslav mountain turns, and this is funny. Certainly some of Mr. Streeter's old admirers will go along for the ride, and this is a companion piece to Skoal Scandinavia (1952).

Publisher: Harper & Row